Despite being a novel, Septembers was probably the least passionate and most matter of fact of all three. Based loosely on her own family’s experience during this tumultuous time and their eventual flight from the country, the book is Sofer’s attempt to come to terms with her father’s stay in prison and her exile from the country she remembers from girlhood. Although many horrors occur – the father is tortured brutally by his zealot captors, opportunists loot the family’s business, a relative is burned with acid thrown by a mob – the writing does not sensationalize and the characters remain abnormally detached. My favorite parts were those chapters that followed daughter Shirin, whose secret defiance of the new regime lends the most suspense and passion to the narrative.
I also very much liked the lyrical writing. A sample passage: "The human body is like that. It needs a constant flow of nourishment, air, and love, to survive. Unlike currency, these things cannot be accumulated. At any given moment, either you have them, or you don't."
I found this easy to get into, easy to read but hard to put down. Glad I had the opportunity to read it as part of Everyday I Write the Book Blog's Online Book Club: "The Septembers of Shiraz" by Dalia Sofer. Thanks Gayle!